1960 Belgian Grand Prix

When the Belgian Grand Prix was last run, in 1958, the organisers slipped up in their estimation of the performance of the competing cars by holding the race over 300 kilometres on the superfast Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The reality was that the event was all over in 1hr 37min for the average speed of the winner was nearly 130 mph and as an important Grand Prix it was rather ludicrous. Due to to financial wrangles there was no Belgian Grand Prix in 1959 but this year the magnificent 14.1 kilometre circuit in the Fagnes mountains, not the Ardennes as is popularly supposed, once more rang to the sound of Grand Prix car racing round the hills and in order to be sure of not repeating the 1958 mistake the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium made the race over 500 kilometres.

With lap speeds of well over 130mph this ensured that, the race would go on for a reasonable length of time, and also introduced a welcome return to Grand Prix racing of a long and arduous nature rather than some of the sprint-type events that have happened, thus endeavouring to put Grand Prix racing on a higher plane than most other types of motor racing.

Practice began on Friday afternoon and early evening, from 5:30pm until 8pm so chosen to avoid disrupting local traffic unduly for this high speed circuit is still part of the normal road system of the district, even if many of the corners are super-elevated. Twenty cars had been invited, of which the fastest sixteen in practice were to qualify for the starting grid, but at the last moment the lone Vanwall was withdrawn so practice saw nineteen competitors turn out promptly.

Race Results

Qualifying

Circuit - Spa-Francorchamps

Country

Belgium

Location

Francorchamps, Wallonia

Type

Temporary road course

Length

8.761 (Miles)

Record

Henri Pescarolo (Matra-Simca MS670), 3m13.4, 163.080 mph, Sports Cars, 1973

3,253

Championships

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18,772

Results

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17,864

Drivers

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11,555

Teams

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884

Circuits

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